Pinball FX - Crypt of the NecroDancer Pinball Review

Pinball FX - Crypt of the NecroDancer Pinball by developer and publisher Zen StudiosSony PlayStation 5 Review written by Nick with a copy provided by the publisher.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Pinball FX - Crypt of the NecroDancer Pinball is a somewhat unusual entry into the Pinball FX ecosystem, as it’s a bit like video game inception. It’s a video game about a popular video game. Zen Studios has done that sort of thing before (their older Ninja Gaiden and Street Fighter II tables come to mind), but it’s still quite a departure in theme from their usual existing properties (like Godzilla vs Kong or Indiana Jones). The thing is? It works, and not just because of the theme.

This is one of those instances where Zen Studios went very creative and didn’t have the constraints of trying to replicate a pre-existing table like the Williams Twilight Zone one, and the results are pretty fantastic. For starters, I absolutely love the visuals here. The large speakers along the outside of the table bathed in a violet light makes for a cool environment. The table itself looks like a dungeon, with stony floors, brick walls with lit torches lining them and plenty of visual bits of flair throughout.

The sound and music shine here too, which makes sense if you’re at all familiar with the fantastic Crypt of the NecroDancer game, which has thumping music as a core rhythm gameplay mechanic. That is carried over to this pinball table, which has a really fun and unique scoring system that gives bonuses based on hitting the ball with your flippers in time with the music. It sounded a bit gimmicky at first, and admittedly the first couple of times I played, I was more focused on the table layout than anything else, but after that? I found myself letting the ball roll down the flipper a split second longer or perhaps striking it a moment quicker not because it was a more strategic shot but because of the current beat.

On top of that, there’s just a lot happening on the table. There’s a lot of moving parts, some things you just couldn’t do with a real-world pinball table, and it all works here as you try to complete the table’s varied objectives. The fact that there’s boss battles just makes that connection between this table and the original video game that much stronger.

This feels like one of Zen Studios’ most creative pinball offerings, and a really creative change of pace. The music and visuals are excellent, the way it really uses the original game and carries over a core mechanic to the pinball table is an excellent idea, and all of it was executed just about perfectly. Pinball FX - Crypt of the NecroDancer Pinball is a must-play whether you were a fan of the Crypt of the NecroDancer game or not.

Score: 9 / 10



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